AG Martha Coakley Supports Constitutional Amendment to Reverse Citizens United, corporate “rights”

I spoke at a briefing organized by Free Speech for People (Jeff Clements)and MassVOTE concerning the need for MA-based organizations and their constituencies to join the state and federal campaigns working to pass resolutions at all levels of government. This call for the passage of a constitutional amendment transcends party lines, and Congress needs to hear from as many elected and citizen groups as possible. Our founders wrote “we the people, not we the corporations.” It is up to us now to defend and restore our democracy.

AG Martha Coakley Supports Constitutional Amendment to Reverse Citizens United, corporate “rights”

Posted on December 8, 2011 by

Attorney General Martha Coakley today became the first sitting Attorney General in the nation to call for a Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United v. FEC and the Supreme Court’s fabrication of corporate Constitutional rights to unlimited corporate election spending. Here’s her press release from her office, with a link to her letter to Massachusetts legislative leaders considering a resolution calling for the 28th Amendment.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                            MEDIA CONTACT:

December 8, 2011                                                                  Melissa Karpinsky/Emalie Gainey                                                                                                           

(617) 727-2543

AG COAKLEY SUPPORTS CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO LIMIT UNLIMITED, UNDISCLOSED CORPORATE SPENDING IN ELECTIONS

In Letter to State Judiciary Chairs, Urges Passage Of Resolution Supporting Federal Constitutional Amendment To Reverse Citizens United Decision 

BOSTON – Stating that individual voters are being increasingly disenfranchised by the flow of hundreds of millions of dollars of undisclosed contributions by corporations, Attorney General Martha Coakley today voiced her support for a federal constitutional amendment to make clear that corporate spending is not free speech.

AG Coakley expressed her support in a letter to the Chairpersons of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, Senator Cynthia Creem and Representative Eugene O’Flaherty. In the letter, she supports passage of Senate Bill 772, “Restoring Free Speech,” which is a resolution that calls for a federal Constitutional Amendment to reverse the United States Supreme Court Decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

The federal amendment has been proposed with bipartisan support by Congressman James P. McGovern. The state Resolution was introduced by Senator James Eldridge and Representative Cory Atkins.

“As we have seen, average citizens are feeling increasingly disenfranchised and believe that our current political system favors the wealthy few instead of the public good,” AG Coakley said in her letter. “Individual people’s voices will continue to be steadily drowned out if corporations are allowed to spend billions in unreported and unaccounted funds to influence elections. The passage of the Resolution would send a strong message that it is time to put the electoral process back in the hands of the people, not corporations.”

In January 2010, the United States Supreme court handed down its decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The Supreme Court ruled that restrictions on corporate political campaign advertisements violated the First Amendment’s free speech protections, thereby allowing corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money on elections.

That decision has resulted in a torrent of undisclosed corporate and special interest money into the electoral process through 501(c) non-profit organizations which are not required to disclose their donors. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the amount of money spent by non-party committees during the 2010 Congressional elections was more than $300 million, more than four times the amount spent during the 2006 Congressional elections.  The 2012 election will be the first presidential race since the Citizens United ruling.

A copy of the Attorney General’s letter can be found here.

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14 Comments

1. F.P. Sherrick, Ph.D. (12/11/2011)

Of course the decision in Citizens United must be reversed. It is common knowledge (provable right here on the internet) that over half the members of the Senate, the House and the Supreme Court as well as our President himself are MILLIONAIRES.

Until that reversal takes place, we no longer have a democracy – we are living in a plutocracy (rule by the wealthy). This is the underlying reason behind the current status of the United States – – – a country that is failing!!!!!

2. Sonja Godlewski (12/11/2011)

I am in support of overturning Citizens United vs Federal Election Commission. Please continue your work in that effort.

3. Thomas Watson (12/11/2011)

Thank you this is how we do things in massachuttess!!

4. Michele Carney (12/11/2011)

Atty General Martha Coakley remains a champion for what is right & just! Thank you!

5. Richard Hoffman (12/11/2011)

If Corporations are people then WHOLE Corporations should also be liable in legal proceedings, WHOLE Corporations should have to pay the taxes that regular people have to pay, Corporations shouldn’t get tax breaks that regular people don’t get and it goes on and on. They can’t have it both ways. Use this law against them in whatever manner that is most demonstrative of the absurdity of this law.

6. Judith Nicolson (12/11/2011)

Comment
Great news! I congratulate Martha Coakley and urge the Senate to endorse SB772 as strongly as possible. Citizens United MUST be overturned as promptly as possible to preserve what’s left of our democracy AND to send a harsh message to the out-of-control activists on the Supreme Court who are rewriting our Constitution to suit themselves.

7. Dr. Mary Snow (12/11/2011)

The passage of Senate Bill 772, “Restoring Free Speech,” which is a resolution that calls for a federal Constitutional Amendment to reverse the United States Supreme Court Decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, is absolutely the most important action we can make to set America on a positive course.
Because there is too much money in the political process, there is too much carbon in the atmosphere, too much mercury in the water, and too many Hallibuton pipelines strewn across the countryside, and too much heat in the climate system!
The passage of this bill is crucial to our well being.
Sincerely,
Drs. Maryand Rich Snow

8. Thomas Nelsen (12/11/2011)

Citizens United was the worst thing to be done to the United States. I am frightened that the country will be for the rich, by the rich and the hell with the rest of us to become slaves.

9. Connie Moreno (12/11/2011)

Corporations are NOT people! I urge you to support the the constitional ammendment to limit unlimited, undisclosed corporate spending in elections. Our government should be a government by the people and for the people.

Thank You

10. Susan Hewitt (12/11/2011)

Thank you for supporting this amendment to save our democracy.

11. james moreland (12/12/2011)

Cory Atkins, thank you for taking on the corporate elite and defending ‘We the people”! You will not regret your stand! Sincerely, James Moreland germantown, Ohio

12. Rev A.C.Cuppy (12/12/2011)

Repeal Citizen United Amendment.

13. JOANNE SACCO (12/12/2011)

Comment THANK YOU A G COAKLEY
I HAVE BEEN LOSING FAITH IN MY PARTY MY STATE AND MY COUNTRY, THANK YOU FOR THE WISDOM CHARACTER AND HOPE YOU JUST DELIVERED TO ME AND ALL AMERICANS
JOANNE SACCO

14. John R. Carter (12/12/2011)

Thank You! This is simply a matter of reasonability and common sense.